Five found guilty in organ trafficking ring

Jake Stark

A court in Kosovo found two people guilty of human trafficking and organized crime Monday while also finding three others guilty of lesser crimes in the case of a major international organ trafficking ring that took kidneys from donors. 

The court sentenced urologist Lufti Dervishi to eight years in prison and his son, Arban, to seven years and three months. 

A third defendant, Sokol Hajdini, was sentenced to three years for causing grievous bodily harm. Two other defendants received suspended sentences and the last two were freed. 

The five men ran the organ trafficking operation out of the Medicus Clinic in the capital, Pristina. They targeted poor donors and promised financial compensation in return for donating their kidneys. 

Donors from Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey testified at the trial. They said they were flown into the clinic from Istanbul and then wheeled into surgery. 

The donors said they were promised $10,000 and $12,000 in return for their kidneys, but many of them were not paid. 

The recipients of the kidneys paid between 80,000 and 100,000 euro to receive the transplants. 

At least 24 kidney transplants occurred at the clinic between 2008 to 2009, the period covered by the case. 

The defendants are believed to have profited $1 million from the transplants.